You know when you go out to restaurants and you eat an amazing meal but then halfway through the meal your parents look at you and say "Why did we eat out? You can make this at home". No? Only me? Well yah this happens to me a lot. Recently my family and I went to this local Korean restaurant and omg, Korean food is just amazing. I probably like the small side dishes (banchan) you get in the beginning more than anything. So once our meal is done no matter where we eat, I jump on my phone and start writing down notes of how I can make it at home, honestly, I don't think I'm normal.
Friday night I went to the Asian grocery store with my dad and honestly, grocery shopping is probably one of my favorite things. (another weird fact about me proving I'm not normal). I literally become giddy when I walk into Lions or Trader Joes and run all over getting my stuff. I was trying to find this special Korean hot pepper paste because all the recipes I researched emphasized the need of it! So I went to the fish monger and we'll let me just tell you the conversation.
Me: "hi I'm making this Korean dish soondobu-"
Guy: "Korean right?!"
Guy: "Korean down that way!! (pointing to aisle)"
Me: *comes back because can't find it*
Guy: "You find Korean?!?!"
Guy: *sees that he sent me down wrong aisle* "ohh Korean over here"
Me: *comes back again because can't find it, shows him what the gochujang box looks like*
Guy: "ohh cold Korean! Over here"
*we both look, can't find it. finally found it in some random aisle and trying to find the guy so I can tell him...can't find him*
So that was the highlight of my night. If you are reading this, I found the "Korean" 😅. He was so enthusiastically trying to help me out I was so sad when I couldn't find him. The next day I made it for dinner and I kid you not, that Korean hot pepper paste makes all the difference, it tastes EXACTLY like the stuff you get in the Korean restaurants. I tried to recreate the feel you get at these restaurants with the banchan so I put out some kimchi. seaweed salad, steamed bok choy, rice and green onion pancakes. Hope you give his recipe a try!! Comment and share :)
Korean Soft Tofu Soup (soondobu) (click on title for printable PDF recipe)
4 cups anchovy broth*
1/2 pound thinly sliced beef (tri tip, flank steak, top round...etc.) 1 cup mushrooms
2 packs silken tofu
1 white onion finely diced
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 eggs (one per how many bowls)
1 tsp salt + pepper each
1/2 cup chopped kimchi
1/4 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
chopped green onions
rice or noodles to serve
Sauté onions, oil, salt, pepper, sugar, kimchi, chili and chili paste on medium high heat. After onions turn translucent, add beef and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until beef fully browned. Add broth and tofu and cook on high for another 5 minutes. Add more of any seasoning to taste. Cook your eggs either in the pot or poach separately. Serve soup HOT in a bowl with your rice or noodles, egg on top garnished with scallions.
*cook anchovy broth by boiling water with 4 anchovies and a palm size of dried seaweed or dried kelp. Cook for 15-20 minutes and strain.
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